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Jensen Ackles Talks Season Seven at Toronto Con

October 10, 2011

Jared and Jensen at Breakfast


Creation’s Salute to Supernatural convention came to Toronto for the first time this weekend, which meant a hotel full of con first-timers and palpable excitement, especially when it came time for Misha, Jared or Jensen to take the stage. There’s nothing better than the anticipation of meeting for the first time the people who make the Show you’ve fallen for. We spent part of the weekend just chatting with fans who discovered Supernatural in season six and then mainlined the first five to catch up. The newbie excitement was contagious, filling the auditoriums and spilling over into the hallways. Friday night karaoke saw Amy Gumenick (young Mary) joining fans in dancing on their chairs, Gabe Tigerman and his character-twin Elias doing a heartfelt duet of ‘Summer Nights’ from Grease, and Richard Speight Jr. and Matt Cohen rocking some serious sixties fringe and bellbottoms. Jensen auctioned off enough Winchester rock salt to keep demons away for a decade, and fandom came through with a substantial donation for Hunters Syndrome research. We caught up with fans we met at our first Supernatural fan convention in 2007, had a chance to update Misha, Jared and Jensen on when to expect their copies of Stalking Fandom, and took a few more….creative….photos of the guys for the books.

We also thoroughly enjoyed Jensen’s Q&A, which should come as a surprise to no one.

Jensen joined us with a cup of (apparently quite hot) coffee, asking us if we were awake yet.

Fans: (eyes most definitely open) We are now J

A fan kicked off the Q & A asking if Jensen would take anything from the set of Supernatural when the show is over.

Jensen: I don’t think it will ever be over!

Fans: YES!

Has he ever taken any ‘keepsakes’ from the various sets he’s worked on?

Jensen (looks shifty): A few things may have found their way to my bag. Bobby’s house got destroyed on Friday night, as you know, and that was our only standing set for the past six seasons. So when we filmed our last scene in there, Jared and I started looking around and taking stuff off the desk, little things that haven’t moved in six seasons and have always been in the background. And there have been some books I’ve taken from the set dec shelves – I like really old books, we have bookshelves in our house and I’ve just got old books there. So I went about it properly and asked if I could have them, there were some from the early 1900s. And the next day there was this big box of books in my trailer.

What about the ultimate prop?

Jensen: As far as the car goes, that’s probably something that’s gonna be a little more difficult — unless I just hop in and drive away. I will try to either sweet talk them or get it into my next contract though.

And that duster from the Western episode?

Jensen (looks shifty again): As far as wardrobe goes, I’m gonna plead the 5th on that. I mean, the duster was custom made for me, Diane our costume designer designed it and our tailors made it for me, so I can’t imagine why it shouldn’t go home with me.

Fans: Of course. Obviously.

Jensen: And over the years, it’s been oh, those jeans went missing, or oh those boots, so….yeah.

Dean’s leather jacket, unfortunately, really was stolen.

Jensen: That’s been one of the biggest mess-ups on our show. And they’ve tried to get others that looked like it and I’ll try them on but it’s like, this is not gonna work.

Apparently Mr. Ackles also has a pickaxe handle from My Bloody Valentine. Must be an interesting conversation piece in the living room….

Since Jensen had just completed his second episode of directing, many of the questions were about that episode. Fans wondered what was most challenging about this one.

Jensen: This was a much more challenging script, lots more going on. Weekend at Bobby’s was a day in the life, and it was a lot of dialogue and some great actors – I could just set the cameras and then let them go. This one was more flipping back and forth, flashbacks, new characters, so technically it was more difficult. I thought it would be easier the second time around, but last year ignorance was bliss. What I learned from last year’s experience made me think more about possibilities and technical aspects and I basically made it harder on myself. There was a lot they did post-production that I wasn’t aware of – I had my cut but then network and studio has it, and they took stuff out and I was like, awww, they took that out? There was a whole montage of me in the cabin with the broken leg just downing beers and swordfighting with my crutch, and they cut that out for time.

Fans: AWWWWWW.

Actually Jensen’s complaint about post-production edits made some of the things that bothered us about that episode a bit clearer. Fans felt cheated out of the three weeks during which Dean convalesced, and presumably worked on repressing his grief over the loss of Cas, and came to some decidedly unpopular (for fans at least) decisions about how to deal with it by charging ahead full force keeping the world safe by taking out sympathetic (for fans at least) monsters-of-the-week. They also took out what sounded like some awesome, albeit disgusting, shots.

Jensen: And in the end instead of Chet’s mouth opening up and you see the leviathan, I actually had the cheese poured on the guy’s head. It really sucks because that was my good friend Mike, who runs a bar in downtown Vancouver. He’s been a buddy of mine since Dark Angel, so I called him and said hey listen, it’s three scenes, but there’s a catch. I have to dump nacho cheese on your head. And he was like, well it’s a good thing I don’t have any hair. So he was a full-on trooper and the shot was amazing. It wasn’t actual nacho cheese, Special Effects came up with a vanilla yogurt that they thinned out with water and then they put in food coloring, and it was really good. So when we brought it on set I was like mmm, totally fine.

Jensen (licks his fingers)

Fans (are distracted)

Jensen: And then Mike was like (licks fingers more….) and he was like yeah, that’s pretty good. And it was just pouring down right over his eye and it like separated over his eye and he was screaming bloody murder, and ….they cut that out. But it wasn’t my call to make.

(It was his call to make to have Mike wear a Red Hood tee shirt and have a mention of My Bloody Valentine though, both of which were immediately noticed by our ever-observant fandom).

What was his favorite scene in that episode?

Jensen: My favorite scene, I really liked the kill scene at the end. Because we never do that – the way we kill, it’s quick and violent and bloody boom boom boom slash, and this was just a very subtle motion, and then laying her down, so I really liked that.

Actually we were among the fans who were rather unattractively gaping when we watched that scene. It’s been suggested in comments on the sites of our friends Alice at WFB and Mo Ryan on AOL.TV that the reaction to this scene splits along gender lines – men (Jensen, Jared and Dean included) saw the character as a monster who needed to be killed, women as a mother protecting her child. Jensen’s explanation makes Dean’s headspace a bit easier to understand – Dean, at least, saw it as a mercy killing, set apart from the way the Winchesters usually kill. We still feel jarred, but it’s helpful to have the ‘character’s’ point of view.

The next question was one we’d been wondering about – or at least the one who’s the psychologist.

Lynn: Is it hard to direct and to also be in it a lot as an actor? Because I’m having a hard time getting my head around how you could do that. Do you have to jump back and forth in psychological headspace in order to that?

Jensen: Yes, psychologically it was a nightmare. Because as an actor, and I never realized this until directing this episode, how clear my mind is when I’m acting, and how relaxed my thought process is. I’m not thinking about other things, just relaxing into that character and that scene, listening to the people I’m working with and reacting accordingly. And there’s a certain sense of calm that comes with it. And when I’m working as a director, it’s the complete opposite. In fact at one point I was sitting there and my head was spinning, I was thinking I’ve got this shot and then we’re gonna do a wide shot and then a steadicam shot, and my dolly grip Dave was like, I can hear you thinking, and I was like, don’t talk to me.

This must be one of those times when it’s great to work on a show like Supernatural, where everyone is like family and everyone has your back.

Jensen: I pulled aside Kevin Parks, our first AD – he would call action when I was acting – and I said, it might take me a couple of takes to get there, but keep an eye out and make sure that I’m in it, that I’m back to Dean and not still crazy director Jensen. And so he did, and a couple of times he was like, you’re not there yet and I was like, you’re right. So it would take a few extra takes just to kinda get my brain cleared and relax, so it was a challenge. I have newfound respect for Clint Eastwood.

Fans: Well, you did it well!

Jensen: Thank you. I think it’s something that I assume will get easier with time, the more you do – but going through it the first couple of times was not easy.

Fans: So are you gonna do it next year?

Jensen (laughing) I think so.

Ackles tends to be more critical of his skills than the rest of us – but then again, who doesn’t fall into that trap? When a fan shared that Jewel had raved about his directing, he was characteristically humble.

Jensen: A director’s job is easy with talent like that. I was fortunate to have them. Jewel’s like the zen master, she’s so calm and collected and then you yell ‘action’ and she’s like, Boom! I enjoyed directing kids too. Because with Jewel and Jim and Jared, they understand what to do, but with kids, they’re fresh faced and really wanting direction. So it was fun to work with Emma and Colin, and I thought they did a really good job.

Fan: Colin is getting so much older, it will be hard to do these flashbacks.

Jensen (laughing): Soon they’ll have to switch to the season one Sam!

A fan commented on the sepia tone used for the flashback scenes.

Jensen: I felt it was a little strong. I mean, this is me being critical, but I felt like the treatment was a little harsh, I wanted it more subtle, a little closer to the real so it’s just a very subtle change. I thought it was a bit too dramatic.

Fans: No! We loved it!

Jensen: Oh well, if you didn’t mind it, then okay J

The next question was a stumper – ‘What are five things we don’t know about you?’

Jensen (eyebrows at hairline): FIVE??

(ponders….)

Jensen: For some of you who’ve known me for a while, you probably know just about everything I’m willing to tell you.

Both Jensen and Jared take questions from fans quite seriously though, so Jensen was determined to answer.

Jensen: I hate to be late. But I’m rarely punctual.

Fans: ??

Jensen (deadpans): So I’m often upset.

He also shared that he has a fair amount of patience, which comes in handy when his wife takes a bit longer to get ready than he does.

Jensen: (still gamely struggling to come up with five bits of new info) So there’s two things right there! What else? Give me a category! Ummmm…. I sleep on the right side of the bed in Vancouver and the left side in LA.

Fans (silently) Wow, and we thought we shouldn’t ask about his sleeping habits….

Eventually a fan took pity on him and said that ‘someone’ wanted to know what aftershave Jensen wears, since at every con, ‘you smell fantastic.’

Jensen (perhaps blushing just a bit): Well, I haven’t actually shaved in about seven years. I just use the clippers, I haven’t straight razored my face since the show started so I don’t use aftershave, but I do use some colognes.

He couldn’t remember the name of any, though he did know that Matthew McConaghey advertised one.

Fan: Do you like the beard more?

Jensen: Yeah, I do, but more importantly, Danneel does. Also it’s a nice change from Dean when I grow the beard out and my hair is a little longer, I look more like Jensen. And I feel like that too. When I look in the mirror like this, I can pop right into Dean. I mean, obviously there’s a separation, but it feels like I’ve stepped away from the role.

Jensen also totally could have used his geek cred as another item on the something we didn’t know question. What cameras are used on Supernatural? Apparently season 1 and 2 used film, then 3 to 6 were on digital HD and something called 21D’s and now it’s all Alexa, which they shot Avatar on. (None of that means anything to us, but we kinda love it when Ackles geeks out….)

A fan commented that she missed Dean’s amulet.

Jensen: I don’t. It was heavy, and every time I’d jump or run or fall — I cannot believe that my teeth still are intact! It hit my teeth so many times, I’d be like (mimes spitting blood). In fact, it did chip this tooth right here. (helpfully demonstrates)

Fans (sheepish): Uhh, okay, now we don’t feel so bad about it being gone.

The amulet might not be returning any time soon, but some things in Season 7 are reminiscent of the first seasons of Supernatural. The new season started off with some incredible episodes, with the brothers growing closer, but not always on the same page. So, does Dean trust Sam?

Jensen: Dean is trusting of Sam. I think that he also understands that Sam is dealing with a very unique situation, so he keeps an eye out, but I think that Dean does think that Sam’s heart is in the right place even though his head is messed up. And this will affect their relationship for a couple episodes, but it will be resolved, and I think Sam understands that it (the last episode’s shocker) was a necessity as opposed to a stab in the back. Dean doesn’t tell Sam right away – he lives with it for a couple episodes. And then…..

Season Seven Sam - The Boys in Action!


SPOILER ALERT HERE

Apparently the leviathans have a plan to expose Sam and Dean, which involves making them America’s Most Wanted. Luckily for Jared and Jensen that means robbing banks and crime sprees and generally having a lot of fun. Luckily for fandom that means evil!Sam and evil!Dean, i.e. lots of hotness.

It also plays into Dean’s attempts to keep secrets from Sam. You know that never goes well, Show!!

Fan: So Sam and Dean have to hole up like rabbits.

Jensen: That’s one of the themes this season – they’re backing us into a corner together and stripping away all their tools, from the lore, because there’s no lore on leviathans, to the car – they’re like listen, everyone knows you’re driving this car, you gotta switch it up. So it’s cool, they’re taking away everything that we’ve depended on. And it’s backing us into a corner together, which means that we have to rely on each other, but in a different way, without the tools, so we’re gonna have to rely on instinct and it’s like, I’m gonna need you to watch my back and I’ll watch yours. It kinda gets back to the original format of the show.

Which is, after all, the Show we fell in love with. We can’t wait!

66 Comments leave one →
  1. Maisie P permalink
    October 10, 2011 10:01 pm

    That was AWESOME!! Thank You sooooooooooo much for sharing!

    I am sooooo soooo sooo excited for the rest of the season.The first 3 eps have been absolutely incredible and i’m so excited to see where we go from here.

    I love Supernatural…. I love Supernatural more than life… i am totally not kidding! I eat sleep and breathe it, can’t get enough. I have been a fan since the pilot aired back in 05, i have never been a fan of anything as much as i am a fan of Supernatural and for this long too! 1/3 of my life! I have literally grown up with Supernatural, I got into University because of Supernatural, I’m studying Film & Television because of Supernatural, Posters magazines, novels, calendars, box sets, t shirts, music, CONVENTIONS… it never ends!!! I’m sorry i’m rambling & being a total dork, but basically what i want to say is, this fandom is my LIFE & Supernatural means the absolute WORLD to me, i really can’t put it into words! and I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOUR BOOK I NEEEEEED A COPY!

    Okay i’ll be quiet now, I think i’ve embarrassed myself …awkward LOL!

    Anyways ThankYou so much again !!

    • spnfans permalink
      October 10, 2011 11:40 pm

      You’re welcome, Maisie! We share your enthusiasm, and hope you enjoy the book too. And that’s awesome that Show changed the direction of your career — it’s certainly had an impact on ours!

  2. mcm permalink
    October 10, 2011 10:04 pm

    once again, thank you for taking us into the room with you. and lynn, i LOVE your question, as that’s exactly what i was wondering about too!
    …so….when can we fans expect to see stalking fandom?😀

    • spnfans permalink
      October 10, 2011 11:42 pm

      I loved getting such a thoughtful answer to my question, since it really does seem like a nearly impossible thing to do. Tentative publication date is looking like March, but we’ll (obviously…) keep you posted!

  3. Cindy permalink
    October 10, 2011 11:03 pm

    Great article, thanks so much for sharing. I am always sad when I read about them not caring to see the amulet return. And I know this will sound like a rabid fan, but I wish they would remember that the amulet means something for the brothers’ relationship. It’s symbolic of their bond and when Dean threw it away, it was like he threw that bond away – that really needs to be mended. I kind of cringe when they answer that question flippantly; it still hurts this SPN fan😉 Also, I do wish you would do at least ONE Jared Q and A for us adoring Jared fans though😉 I do love Jensen, but I’m a true blue Jared girl, lol.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 10, 2011 11:47 pm

      Actually we’re with you about the amulet, that was a heartbreaking scene because it was so symbolic of their bond. We all do such things out of hurt and anger sometimes, but ouch, not Dean and Sam!! We will do a Jared Q&A, we swear – too late for Chicago, but for the next con. Our book interviews with Jared were a pleasure, he’s very psychologically minded and thoughtful, so we’re looking forward to it.🙂

      • Cindy permalink
        October 11, 2011 1:47 am

        Thank you in advance for the Jared Q and A! I know I remember you saying a while ago you were going to do one. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jensen, but we’ve gotten to read his views on things so many times and I would love to know what a Jared one is like😉
        Yep, that amulet thing is a real sore point for me. I just wish people at conventions would ask more thoughtful questions sometimes. Like how about prefacing it by saying all those things about how it means so much instead of just asking when it may return. Argh.

  4. October 10, 2011 11:27 pm

    Thank you so much!! I have really come to look forward to your reports from conventions- you do a really gr8t job!! I can’t imagine meeting either of the “boys”, a wish come true. The reports help me to really enjoy the show and Jensen and Jared better. Thank you!!

    • spnfans permalink
      October 10, 2011 11:48 pm

      You’re welcome! I wish every fan could have a chance to say hi in person – until then, very glad you enjoy our little write-ups.

  5. Jena permalink
    October 10, 2011 11:57 pm

    This was so great. I can never get enough of this man.😉 Loved his thoughts on the death of Amy seeming like a “mercy killing” to Dean.That is exactly how I saw Jensen play it by his gently lowering her to the bed and his eyes even divorcing himself from the act, itself. Wonderful, wonderful acting. Thank you so much for sharing his M&Gs with us. I look so forward to your reports of them every time there’s a con. Please never stop.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 12:46 am

      It was helpful to us to hear his thoughts, and to rewatch the scene through that (Dean/Jensen’s) point of view, so I’m glad he shared them. Also very glad you enjoy our articles and interviews, thanks so much for reading🙂

  6. Katharine J. permalink
    October 11, 2011 12:32 am

    Thank you for the interview. I don’t agree with Jensen’s view on killing Amy. I didn’t see it as a mercy killing, but it’s nice to know that it wasn’t suppose to look so cold-blood and cruel. In some ways, I thought that Dean was shocked he went through with it. I wish they would quit with the whole dividing and keeping secrets between the brothers.

    I would love for the amulet to at least make some type of appearance and Dean doesn’t have to go back to wearing it, but knowing that Dean either regrets throwing it away or Sam picked it up would be so nice. I don’t understand why they can’t just throw the fans some type of bone. I know they don’t have to, but it would be nice for the fans to have something. Still, I understand not wanting to wear something heavy for over twelve hour workdays.

    Thank you for the interview. I am sadden to see that you guys didn’t go the Jared’s Q&A again. Sometimes, it seems like you only go to Jensen’s. (It’s alright to like Jensen better, I suppose, haha! :)) Thank you again and hope that you have a wonderful time at the next convention. Good luck with your book!

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 12:55 am

      We’re with you on the divided secret-keeping brothers thing — and would love to know the amulet is safely tucked away somewhere for sentimental reasons. We are unabashed Dean!girls, it’s true, but we adore both the J’s. Look for Jared’s Q&A coverage at the first con of the new year🙂

  7. borgmama1of5 permalink
    October 11, 2011 12:52 am

    Thank you so much for your terrific questions and for your detailed description of how the boys answer them! I would be horribly jealous but you are very good about sharing 🙂

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 1:57 am

      You’re very welcome – we wish you could be there too!

  8. October 11, 2011 1:23 am

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recap! It is so appreciated, especially by someone like me who can’t be there! Just awesome! 🙂

    I wonder if they will put those deleted scenes that Jensen worked so hard on, in the DVDs. Come on, he’s a star, do it to please him, so that we can see them! LOL!

    It’s funny, I know you guys say that it seems like the opinion on whether or not Dean did the right thing is divided on gender lines, but all of my girlfriends (some of whom are mothers) who watch it came down on Dean’s side. We sympathize with Amy, but you turn yourself into a predator who hunts humans and eats them – effectively a serial killer – than you get taken down. There’s no Law and Order for monsters though, just hunters like Dean who believe in protecting the innocent from those who would prey on them. And Amy was someone who would prey on them, so she had to be taken down.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 2:02 am

      We would LOVE to see those cut scenes of Dean going a bit stir-crazy in the cabin, so fingers crossed on that one! The more everyone ponders and processes the killing scene, the less black and white it becomes and the more interesting the debate seems. I think our own knee-jerk reactions were probably influenced by our maternal instincts, but logically there are other ways to look at it. Maybe the scene had more gray areas than it at first seemed!

      • Cindy permalink
        October 11, 2011 2:14 am

        I for one wanted to see more of Sam in the hospital! It’s one of my pet peeves about the show – Dean has been IN a hospital bed officially four times now and Sam none. I’m not counting being wheeled in a gurney, lol. He had some major head trauma, yet we got to see none of his treatment. I am longing for at least one scene where Dean has to sit at Sam’s bedside in a hospital. We got Sam sitting at Dean’s bedside a few times. They just need to equal the playing field! I think they can’t find a bed long enough for Jared or something😉 But it irks me no end – the old hurt/comfort fangirl is coming out in me!

  9. Ema permalink
    October 11, 2011 1:47 am

    I’m reading your articles for some time, I would totally like to buy your book – when will it be published, where can I by it from ? Will you have an e-format too – that would be awesome !!

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 2:03 am

      Yes, I believe it will be published in print and e-book format, and probably available in March or April. Thank you so much for your words of support, we will most definitely keep you posted here — and have some exciting give-aways planned to coincide with the publication too.

  10. Ozzie permalink
    October 11, 2011 3:08 am

    I don’t agree with Jensen killing Amy being a mercy killing , but then he is a man and not a parent ( yet ) either. I know this is just a show…but motherhood/prenthood is a very powerful thing. Mercy killing and the kid is there is terrible. Hate too, that Dean will not be telling Sam that he killed Amy any time soon and if the writers want the shows ratings to RISE then let Dean find his amulet inside Sam’s bag. I swear as much as I love this series ,…its the writers and the showrunners who are wrongly writing and tampering with Supernatural .

    • Oma permalink
      October 11, 2011 3:33 am

      What does being a man and not a parent have to do with anything? Seriously Amy being a mother doesn’t excuse her, in my opinion. No court of law would let her off for it. “My kid needs a liver that’s why I killed this guy!”? Does anyone really think that would fly? Sometimes it helps to put it in “real world” terms. There are no courts of law for monsters, so hunters have to do that job.

      It doesn’t give her some special dispensation. It may explain her actions, IF she was being truthful, but she was still killing people. She was killing them for a while because she was considered a serial killer. She didn’t do for a day or two, she killed at least a few people over a period of time.

      Doesn’t anyone it odd that her son got all better the very night Sam discovered her? She had to kill people for at least weeks but then he’s suddenly cured. Personally I felt the whole thing was set up as Amy was using Sam’s feelings to sway him into letting her go, she was manipulating him. Even the actress in a TV Guide interview, Jewel Staite, said Amy sometimes killed people who weren’t bad, she slipped up. The newspaper headlines, etc all point to Amy not being as truthful to Sam as she was presenting herself to be.

      As for the kid being there, it’s not like Dean purposely chose to kill her in front of her kid, the kid just happened to come in. It’s not like he could make Amy suddenly alive again.

      • spnfans permalink
        October 11, 2011 4:13 am

        All good logical points, whereas perhaps the knee-jerk reactions were emotional ones. I know mine was, pulled in by at least the appearance of being a ‘good mother’. It’s like the slippery slope in Kohlberg’s classic moral dilemma scenarios all over again, leaving everyone with their emotional sides arguing with their rational ones. Thanks for the perspective, it makes me feel better🙂

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:05 am

      I think the level of investment we all feel sometimes makes it more than just a show, which can be very painful when it goes places we wish it wouldn’t. We like your amulet idea!

  11. October 11, 2011 3:14 am

    What a wonderful, smart interview! And I can’t wait for the book. I hope the cut scenes Jensen spoke of will make it on the Season Seven dvd package. I would so very squeee.😀

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:28 am

      We would so very squee right along with you! Thanks so much for your support of our upcoming books — and for your lovely comment🙂

  12. October 11, 2011 3:21 am

    I think I may not be a girl after all, because I can see exactly why Dean did what he did. It was great to hear Jensen’s take on the episode. I was impressed with how engaged he was as Dean even though he must have been thinking so madly all the time that it would be rather like watching the swan’s feet paddling like crazy while it’s gliding serenely over the water. As ever he knocked it out of the park. What always impresses me about our boys – both of them – is how incredibly nice they are, and how intelligent. Thank you for bringing them to us via this blog. I really really want that book though, ladies. Care to let us know where it is?

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:07 am

      That’s a perfect description of what it must have felt like to both act and direct (oneself!) – you are so right, both boys are just incredibly nice, and smart too. Stalking Fandom should hopefully be on the shelves by the spring, and fingers crossed for Fangasm being close behind🙂

      • Oma permalink
        October 12, 2011 2:08 am

        I’m really looking forward to reading this book, after hearing about for so long.😀

  13. Oma permalink
    October 11, 2011 3:23 am

    “It’s been suggested in comments on the sites of our friends Alice at WFB and Mo Ryan on AOL.TV that the reaction to this scene splits along gender lines – men (Jensen, Jared and Dean included) saw the character as a monster who needed to be killed, women as a mother protecting her child. Jensen’s explanation makes Dean’s headspace a bit easier to understand – Dean, at least, saw it as a mercy killing, set apart from the way the Winchesters usually kill. We still feel jarred, but it’s helpful to have the ‘character’s’ point of view.”

    It’s funny but I’m a woman and I had zero problem with him killing Amy. All my fan friends are women, none of them had any problem with it either. What can I say, it’s been a long time since I’ve allowed the show to manipulate me out of basic reasoning – Dean didn’t do anything the Winchesters have not done dozens of times before. It’s just a matter of presentation, it’s like on a court case and lawyers for each side presenting the exact same evidence in totally different ways but if one doesn’t let oneself be too influenced by courtroom theatrics, facts are still facts. Amy was no different than dozens of others monsters they’ve killed and who no one would question deserved to die.

    She was a killer, I don’t care if she’s “doing it for her kid”(which I think was a lie anyway, imo plenty of clues in there on that), she’s killing people. He’s a hunter, he kills monsters who kill people. There is the occasional exception but they are few and far between and frankly I don’t think Amy deserved to be an exception simply because she knew Sam for a day 15 years ago and she had a kid.

    In point of fact Dean made a very complicated and moral decision. Dean killed Amy because she was a killer not because she was a monster. That is also why he let her son live, he wasn’t a killer. Whether he becomes in the future is that kid’s own decision but his mother was a killer.

    Even Sam was going to kill her until he realized who she was and she gave him the sob story. You know all those people she decided were lowlife enough to die? They probably all had their own sob stories, bet some of them may even have had kids.

    To me, Dean did what he so often does – he did what needed to be done, despite the cost, he took that on himself. I felt it was obvious he wasn’t doing it with a sense of viciousness but he did it because it had to be done.

    Honestly I applaud Dean for it, I applaud him for being willing to take on that responsibility and to make those decisions.

    • FruityNut permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:20 pm

      Hear hear! As a woman, I totally saw this as a justifiable killing. I actually thought it was a beautiful and unambiguous scene. The whole episode led up to that point so when people say Dean seemed cold-blooded about it all, I’m confused. The biggest point of the scene, wonderfully done by the director, was the quietness and gentleness of the killing, if ever there is such a thing. He looked her in the eye, explained in a clear soft spoken manner then placed her on the bed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Dean do such a thing. He knew, in all his experiences, the other shoe will always drop. If he had let her live, his mercy, his act of kindness will bite him back sometime down the line. He knew, as a parent for Sam and later for Ben, there is nothing Amy wouldn’t do for her son so what’s going to happen if he gets sick again? When Dean was turned to a vampire, he knew he would have to be put down before he hurt anyone. I totally agree that Dean did what he had to do, whether or not he wanted to, with no viciousness in his heart.

      Peace Love and Cheese

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:42 pm

      I’m wondering if the reason it struck so many people as gut-wrong was more because Dean went behind Sam’s back after Sam had asked for trust (though sneaking off and not answering your phone probably negated that to some extent!). All your points are quite valid, and I do seem to have a bit of a bias about mothers defending their young, can’t get my empathy out of the way. Probably goes back to the damn Star Trek horta! Interesting that Kirk’s decision was the opposite, making the shades of gray even more compelling. I suppose just having this discussion means some good television got made! Thanks for the perspective and the thoughtful comment.

      • Oma permalink
        October 12, 2011 2:05 am

        I look at it this way, look at how many times Sam’s lied to Dean? In this very episode Sam showed his total lack of trust in Dean by running off in the middle of the night, leaving a note that was so vague as to be almost useless and he took the car. Every single time Sam runs off on Dean(and he’s done it numerous times now) he’s showing a lack of trust in Dean. Every time Sam lies to Dean, which he’s done numerous times now, he’s showing a lack of trust in Dean. The show kind of tries to sweep it under the rug half the time but ultimately Sam’s done it plenty of times and the difference between Sam and Dean is that on the rare occasions Dean’s lied to Sam to for any period of time longer than a day, he’s clearly and obviously felt guilty about it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sam actually show genuine guilt over lying to Dean, he usually seems to find way to claim Dean “made” him lie.

        It just strikes me as funny that no one seems to care about the fact that Sam lied to Dean, went behind his back and only revealed the truth because he was caught red-handed. He wasn’t even going to be honest with Dean once Dean caught up with him, it’s just that Dean asked very pointed questions and didn’t leave Sam much choice.

        Anyway, that’s not really the point, the point is that Sam is kind of reaping what he’s sown. He can’t expect to be treated with trust if he won’t give it(and I think Season 4 alone practically gives Dean a free pass in that regard, he told Sam everything, he was open with Sam about the most painful things, he kept Sam “in the loop” with regards to anything he found out from the angels even when he knew Sam was lying to him – he gave Sam chance after chance to do the right thing so after that IMO it can never be said that Dean hasn’t done it, he has and look what that led to? Dean gave trust even when he knew he was being lied to and all it led to was Sam starting to sneak around on him again).

        More than that, Sam made it clear that he was “identifying with the monster” in this case – Sam made “what to do about Amy” about himself. Talk about “making” someone lie? That was practically Dean’s only choice in this situation – because Sam couldn’t see beyond his own identification with the subject and that puts Dean in an impossible and crippling(when it comes to doing the job) position. Every time Sam does this, he’s done it before, he puts way more pressure and guilt on Dean than Dean deserves and he makes it that much harder for Dean to do his job.

  14. JoAnne permalink
    October 11, 2011 5:03 am

    Thank you so much for this! Everytime I read one of your wonderful write-ups, I feel like I have just been there and have witnessed everything myself! I have always loved that BOTH Jensen and Jared take the time and really think out thoughtful answers to thoughtful questions. It was great reading here some behind the scenes moments when Jensen directed and also how he feels season 7 will be.

    I have loved the show since day one and for Sammy and Dean to mainly have to rely on each other and watch each other’s backs in this great new season is FINE by me!

    Thank you so very much for your beautiful write-up!

    JoAnne

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 5:09 am

      You’re welcome! Jared and Jensen are both genuinely serious about the Show, and take fans’ questions about it just as seriously. And we agree, Sam and Dean being backed into a corner together with only each other to rely on sounds just like that Show we fell in love with way back when. Bring it!🙂

  15. October 11, 2011 5:24 am

    Thank you for the wonderful write up of Jensen’s panel. I would have liked to hear him get all technical about the directing and cameras and stuff. (Kinda how Gomez liked to hear French from Morticia ;))

    I was at Jared’s panel, but I can’t begin to articulate it well enough to do him justice. He’s so personable. Such a sweetheart.🙂

    It was lovely meeting you — I’m really looking forward to the book.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:44 pm

      So nice to meet you in person, Melanie! We’re looking forward to covering Jared’s panel in the new year — he is absolutely a sweetheart. And totally agreed, hot guy geeking out is hot.🙂 And thanks so much for your support of the book, we’ll keep you posted!

  16. October 11, 2011 9:00 am

    Terrific! Thanks so very much for sharing.
    I love Jensen’s “For some of you who’ve known me for a while, you probably know just about everything I’m willing to tell you.” He is just so honest and straight forward and I really respect that.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:45 pm

      We cracked up when he said that, since it’s probably quite true. What’s so endearing about both the J’s is that they take fan questions so seriously — he struggled to come up with five things for about ten minutes!

  17. Marlowe permalink
    October 11, 2011 10:17 am

    Oh my.
    I only just stumbled onto this blog because a friend sent me the link. I really loved this interview and I think I have to catch up on the rest you wrote. Actually, what got me was the “about us”-note at the side. I’ve always thought it amazing how this show could draw so many people from so many different backgrounds.
    Some watch it for the hot, some start it for the hotness and suddenly fall deep and hard because the CHARACTERS are so very different than any we’ve seen so far. They are constant, but constantly changing.
    Like Dean. He is deep down not a cold-blooded man. But he’s fortifying his soul more and more, because whenever he lets it weaken (like in s2 with Lenore and/or the ghost-woman in “Roadkill”), things make him aware that it’s all wrong to be soft and he has to be hard when he allow Sam to be soft.
    It has always, throughout the series been the tone that Sam keeps Dean tethered to human kindness and Dean keeps Sam tethered to what has to be done.
    And whenever that power-balance is disrupted – by Sam being the hard one, like in s4 and as robo-Sam – Dean gets softer.

    I had a different take on Dean’s reasons for killing Amy, not just the logical ones. But maybe there are more than just the reasons Dean knows about, so yeah, could still be true😉
    But I never thought it too wrong to kill her. Weird, right? Also, that scene reminded me sharply of the James Bond move “The world is not enough”, where James Bond kills the girl like that. Really one of my most loved scenes in the whole of James Bond, and therefor a real nice scene on Supernatural.
    I don’t think it was a mercy-killing, because Amy wasn’t suffering. You can’t kill someone out of mercy (real mercy) if she’s not suffering from something. BUT it was a necessary kill, in Dean’s eyes, and he did it in a way that didn’t let her suffer, or even think that Sam betrayed her.
    So yes, he was being respectful of her, even in death, and he was showing mercy to the kid. You might – as a parent or as that boy – see it totally different (I would!) but he gave the boy a CHANCE to survive. Amy had a chance when Sam let her go, and something made her throw that chance away – her kid being ill. So she hit the trigger on Sam’s hunter-radar, and that was her bad. But she took that chance when she started killing, and she must have been aware of the danger – she took that danger willingly for the sake of her boy. And Jacob would have the same chance. If he never hits a hunter’s trigger, he’s fine.
    But if he does… well, the same goes for him as goes for Amy. Same chance.
    If he really will come and confront Dean later, Dean said that it’s just fair. He won’t lie down and let him kill him, but he’ll give him the chance to do so.

    So, as for the interview:
    I loved all the questions and of course the answers. I really thought the directing was awesome, or at least that I didn’t see anything different from other well-directed episodes, and since Jensen is a greenhorn in that department, that is a compliment in itself, right?

    Now, I think, I need to stalk your blog🙂
    Thanks so much for that interview.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:49 pm

      You’re very welcome for the article and we would be honored to be stalked🙂 Thanks too for your thoughtful comments about that controversial scene. The more perspectives I’m privileged to hear, the more nuanced the scene and Dean’s decision becomes, and the more I’m in awe of how deeply Show can engage us all, intellectually and emotionally. You’re so right when you say it’s about so much more than the ‘hot’ (not knocking it though…) — it’s these characters that we come to care about. Alot!🙂

  18. Alex permalink
    October 11, 2011 1:06 pm

    Excellent report. I was at this Q&A and am in awe with the detail you have here. So much fun reading this as I can hear Jensen’s voice and see his expressions in my mind as I read, and those memories will stay with me forever, I swear. Thanks so much for this.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:53 pm

      Hey, next time say hi! You’re very welcome for the report, and we know just what you mean about being able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ when you read the words. Good memories are what fandom is all about, whether it’s finding your best friends or going to cons or being a part of online fun. So much SPN goodness🙂

  19. October 11, 2011 1:13 pm

    I have to disagree with the idea that women don’t agree with Dean killing Amy, a monster who has killed people. I’m a woman and I think Dean was right to kill Amy. She was a monster and she crossed the line and killed people. Sam let her go once after she had killed and she ended up killing again. The show tried it’s hardest to make Amy sympathetic, but she was no different than Madison or Travis, and it was okay for Sam to kill them. They are what they are and they killed people.

    Now on to the topic of this report, I absolutely adore Jensen and I love his responses to these questions. I love that he collects old books!

    I’m so glad to read people asked him questions about directing this time around, and I loved how honest and detailed he was with his answers.

    There are so many bloggers who are Sam-centric, like Alice from WFB, that I appreciate that you taking the time to see and talk to Jensen. Thank you! 🙂

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 4:55 pm

      You’re welcome! We get taken to task for being Dean!girls, so it’s nice to hear the opposite. LOL. We’ve really enjoyed the discussion here about that controversial scene — it’s one of the great things about fandom that we can all share our perspectives and open each other’s eyes to different ways of viewing things. And we can all be more or less honest about it too! When does that happen in RL?🙂

  20. Jo Davies permalink
    October 11, 2011 8:01 pm

    I am looking forward to your book. I was at this Q and A too. It was wonderful. And I am so pleased to be able to re-live it with your writing. Thanks so much. I would have loved to have talked to you personally…
    I loved the complexity and difficulty of the ending of last Friday’s episode. Magnificent writing and great acting and Jensen’s directing sense communicated that so perfectly. Quite beautiful. I too thought it a mercy. Which is hard. I also think this older more wise Dean would let Sam die the next time. Even with all the pain that would bring.
    Jared made the remark at the breakfast, I think, that he personally was understanding of what Dean did…but Sam has a ways to go. We will see that journey happen for Sam I think. Great character evolution on this show. Although, I have always been fascinated how so much of the story is about Sam but we learn so much more about the personhood and character of Dean. I realized on Sunday I wanted to ask Jensen about that but I couldn’t get a question worded well enough or clear enough to ask.
    And the amulet… I think Jensen gets the symbolism, he started to say something but left it as we all changed the subject. I like the idea of asking more about the meaning and sacredness of the amulet – rather the damaging tooth chipping thing itself.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 11, 2011 9:59 pm

      The more we engage in spirited conversation about the last episode, the more I’m aware of the complexity of that scene and of audience reaction to it. It’s a tribute to the great characters, how much we all care about them. Hope our paths cross again so we can say hi in person!

  21. Sandra permalink
    October 12, 2011 1:35 am

    Wonderful write-up, Lynn.🙂 It was so wonderful seeing you there.

    The Rock Salt made it home safely. Kerry Lynn had it wrapped up very well and we kept checking on it all the way home.

    *Hugs*

    Sandra

    • spnfans permalink
      October 12, 2011 4:44 am

      Glad to hear the rock salt made it home safe and sound – tell Kerry Lynn hi from me and congratulate her again on a worthwhile contribution to charity (and some kickass rocksalt). So good to see you too! Think of me when you enjoy your next chai😉

    • KerryLynn permalink
      November 10, 2011 12:22 am

      Yup made it home .sandra, and i had a lovely 5 hour drive home gushing about the fantastic weekend, it was nice meeting lots of fans.
      The rock salt is safely in my china cabinet, ill post a picture here if im allowed. TeeHee, THANKS for the interview, its nice to hear about them.

      KerryLynn

      • spnfans permalink
        November 14, 2011 2:11 am

        Hey Kerry Lynn! Feel free to email a photo and we’ll add it to the post. Hope to see you at another con — and say hi to your lovely daughter🙂

      • KerryLynn permalink
        November 14, 2011 3:58 am

        Thankyou I will. Jessica said it was the best weekend ever🙂. I’ll definitely send a picture. Hubby hasn’t even noticed the rock salt yet. I thought after should have asked Jensen. How much the matching bottle of pepper would be. Teehee.

  22. October 25, 2011 1:37 am

    Thank you for the interview! And with the Samulet hitting his teeth, that happens to me ALL THE TIME! (with the one I bought)

    • spnfans permalink
      October 27, 2011 11:30 pm

      So Jensen’s not the only one? Sounds painful — but you’re welcome!

  23. Oh_Happy_Day permalink
    October 25, 2011 3:26 am

    Lovely interview. Thanks for sharing it with us. Jensen is a charming man.

    In response to the discussion that’s going on in the comments –

    I am a woman and I did see what Dean did as wrong and it had nothing to do with Amy being a mother.

    The reason I saw it as wrong is that they’ve exercised judgement as to whether the monster will kill again before. That’s what they did with Lucky who had also killed and whom they let go. What would have made Amy different from Lucky (who was not even asked to promise not to kill or told they’d be back if he did) was the perception that she would continue to need to kill again and that the kid would get sick in the future.

    But this was never made clear on the show and is entirely based in perception. Maybe the sickness was a one time thing (like chicken pox) or preventable. Sam, who while he has a soft spot is usually no dimwit, seemed pretty sure she would not kill again. What made Dean so sure, other than that she was a monster? And in that case, why was he able to trust Lucky, who killed for much less sympathetic reasons, didn’t show remorse and didn’t even promise to stop at the end?

    • spnfans permalink
      October 27, 2011 11:31 pm

      It’s those sort of inconsistencies that nag at us too. Hopefully more explanation will follow. In the meantime, you’re so right – Jensen is a charming man🙂

  24. Gerry permalink
    October 27, 2011 3:26 am

    Hi, love this site! On the topic of the killing, I thought Dean did what he thought he had to do and as someone commented above, the fact that we saw this one from a different angle doesn’t make it different from many of their other killings. I didn’t see Dean as cold, but rather as trying to do it with as little cruelty and harshness as possible–but it was a killing, after all. It’s not a gentle act.

    In regard to Lucky, the brothers didn’t let him go. Dean tried hard to shoot him in the abandoned building; he just didn’t get the shot. Lucky got away due to circumstances. We were also told in “TGND” that eating carrion wasn’t as healthy as fresh brains, which was why Amy had to kill when her child was ill. She’s not going to be able to control when her child gets sick again, and since he’s eating carrion, he’s most likely going to get sick again. Sam’s solution was understandable given their history, but Amy would have killed again. Dean did what had to be done, while Sam did what he wanted to do. Both were understandable. I’m femaile, by the way and have a child. (-: I don’t think perception of the scene really falls along gender lines.

    I think it’s very relevant that when Dean was made a vampire, he offered himself up to Sam and Samuel, because he knew he’d kill. It wouldn’t be his fault, but he would do what a vampire does. Dean is consistent.

    • spnfans permalink
      October 27, 2011 11:33 pm

      Ahhhh, thank you for the reminder about carrion not being as healthy as fresh brains, that does carry some implications. This entire discussion has been so interesting, with everyone providing bits of information and hypotheses about why Dean did what he did. Thanks for your contribution🙂 And very glad you’re enjoying the site!

  25. indy permalink
    April 4, 2012 6:26 am

    i’m a fan from the very first episode! and i still watch SPN very religiously! tho i’m a bit of silent fan! i love this site! keep up your work!

    • spnfans permalink
      April 6, 2012 3:31 am

      Thank you, we definitely are keeping it up, especially with our books coming out. And we’re still right there with you, watching SPN religiously🙂

  26. Lily permalink
    November 28, 2013 2:11 pm

    OH wow.. You guys seriously ROCK!!!
    Did he ever mention any name of the cologne? I’m gonna blackmail my boyfriend into using it..
    On the serious note, his acting skills and thorough understanding of the character never fail to amaze me, he just pulls you into his world with his acting and keeps me totally dumbstruck.. He is just great in every aspect, be it personality, professionalism, anything! On the serious note, his acting skills and thorough understanding of the character never fail to amaze me, he just pulls you into his world with his acting and keeps me totally On the serious note, his acting skills and thorough understanding of the character never fail to amaze me, he just pulls you into his world with his acting and keeps me totally dumbstruck.. He is just great in every aspect, be it personality, professionalism, anything! On the serious note, his acting skills and thorough understanding of the character never fail to amaze me, he just pulls you into his world with his acting and keeps me totally dumbstru

  27. Lily permalink
    November 28, 2013 2:20 pm

    Oh and maisie, i totally share your feelings.. My heaven would be being in their world hunting alongside them and i dont care if i get killed during it.. I just have this intense feeling when watching every episode and the aftermath and reminisating doesnt stop before 72 hours. This show has incredibly liberated me, changed my life and i want to die watching it..

  28. July 6, 2015 5:53 pm

    Very interesting article, although a little confusing reading it 4 years after the fact since the episodes discussed weren’t referred to by name. I caught up from the comments, though, and just wanted add, as a female, Dean killing Amy made total sense to me. First and foremost, she was a parent, and no matter what she promised Dean, if her son needed fresh kill again, she would provide it. They’ve made it pretty plain over the years that Dean was at least as much parent to Sam as brother, so if anyone was going to know what Amy would do for her kid if push came to shove…it was Dean.

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